Uber has announced that it will be building new trucking services in its Chicago headquarters in an attempt to increase its freight transportation business. Expanding its services so that truckers can pick up pre-loaded trailers, Uber hopes that this will generate an increase in its import and export business. Uber Freight will also allow mobile app users to book multiple loads at one time, providing truckers with an improved platform to plan journeys and reduce the amount of time and mileage spent travelling empty. According to the WSJ, Uber’s total revenue in its second quarter reached $3.17 billion, but the company still expects to lose $3 billion to $3.2 billion this year. Armstrong & Associates’ president Evan Armstrong states that ‘the next target for them is to get to $1 billion.’
It is now common knowledge that British global travel group Thomas Cook has gone bust, leaving thousands of former employees jobless, as well as hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers stranded. According to Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, lessons had not been learned from the collapse of Monarch Airlines in 2017. Thomas Cook AG was founded in 2002, which was then merged with MyTravel Group in 2007 to form Thomas Cook Group PLC. The group operated in two separate formats: one as a tour operator and the other as an airline – both commercial and charter, named the Thomas Cook Group Airlines (TCGA). The liquidation of Thomas Cook Group PLC was announced on 23 September 2019.
Taking a CO2-free step for the logistics industry, Amazon will be electrifying its ever-growing transport network, implementing a fleet of 100,000 electric delivery trucks for its delivery services.
The e-commerce giant states that it plans to make the company carbon neutral by 2040. Amazon has ordered these all-electric vehicles from Detroit-based Rivian Automotive. This positive step towards a greener delivery system follows the recent criticism Amazon has recently faced regarding environmental impact, especially relating to the recent Amazonian rainforest fires.
Other haulage and delivery companies have shown their support for taking action on climate change, such as FedEx and UPS, who have been introducing more electric vehicles into their fleet. Apparently, Amazon plans to go a leap further, putting 10,000 of the new vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 by 2030.
In the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, plans set in place for the importation and supply of medicinal drugs are still unclear. Medical and pharmaceutical professionals have warned that the contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit is not as clear or as confident as it was earlier this year. The plan for the government to secure ferry capacity in order to bring medicines into the UK has not been finalised, which brings uncertainty and worry to medical professionals and the public alike. There is now little time left before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on 31 October 2019, meaning that the lack of possible planning results in an unconfirmed supply flow for pharmaceutical goods. A report from the BBC has suggested that ministers have a long-term plan in place, ensuring that the UK is ready for Brexit.
Yet the case of a no-deal Brexit is expected to result in immense congestion and disruption at the ports of Dover and Calais.
This could be a significant problem for the transport of pharmaceutical goods, as routes via Dover and Calais cover 90% of imported drugs and medicines that are imported from the EU to the UK. Keep a close eye on reports over the coming weeks regarding the plans for the supply of pharmaceuticals.
After a turbulent two months for the British pound, it doesn’t look like the UK’s currency rates will be getting much stronger in the foreseeable future. The value of sterling currency has seen multiple drops, significantly following events such as PM Theresa May’s announcement of resignation, the announcement of new prime minister Boris Johnson, the uncertainty of leaving the EU on October 31st, and now the uproar of Boris’ parliamentary suspension (which has now been confirmed as an unlawful act). If you are considering whether to exchange any travel money, it is advised to either wait as long as possible until the pound begins to level out again, or to exchange half now, and the other half right before travelling to avoid putting your entire expenses at risk.
Rachel Jefferies, Editor, FORWARDER magazine